>> Tuesday, January 26, 2010
For obvious reasons, including the one Rob and Dave mention below, pretty much uniformly negative. If health care reform tanks, the possibility that Obama "could be seen as a failed pre-emptive president in an overwhelmingly Republican era" is now a depressingly likely outcome.
It could, I suppose be argue that the cuts involved will be (in the context of federal outlays) trivial enough to make the Hoover reference unfair. But if the best case is that it's an irrelevant political gimmick, you have to consider the politics, which are pretty much a disaster. Hayes:
That's why this is so inexcusably insidious: because it uses the full power of the bully pulpit to reaffirm and endorse a kind of ignorance that the right-wing has spent years stoking, and in so doing further erodes what little conceptual and rhetorical foundation we have domestically for social democracy. It may be a head fake, the fine print may basically have a lot of loopholes, in which case the policy itself won't be terrible, but again it reinforces the enemy's narrative: that government spends too much on "programs," that defense and "security" spending doesn't count for the deficit and that times of economic misery and widespread unemployment the solution is fiscal austerity.In addition to this, you have the fact that Democrats continue to play the sucker, believing that they have to "fiscally responsible" so that Republicans can take a better fiscal picture and piss it all away on upper-class cuts. The most charitable construction, reflected in a couple of Matt's scenarios, is that he's trying to expose "deficit hawks" on both sides of the aisle as frauds. The obvious problem is that the actions of Bayh and Conrad, and 6 years of united Republican rule, have already demonstrated that they're complete frauds. It doesn't matter. To the Fried Hiatts who care about this stuff being a "deficit hawk" is about inflicting pain on Democratic constituencies, not reducing the deficit. One more demonstration that many "deficit hawks" don't want to reduce agricultural subsidies won't solve anything.